TraderJoe's Profile

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Which is the Best Wood Cutting Board?

If you buy Boos I'd suggest buying at a store with an good return policy. They only Maple boards I've ever had split (2) were Boos and one of them was 3" thick.
Even Americas test kitchen had one of their boards split during testing. Return it if you can. A split board is just a harbinger for bacteria.

Jun 06, 2014
TraderJoe in Cookware
1

Grinder recommendations for drip coffee

They are not very likely going to notice any change in flavor profile after several days let alone 15 minutes after coming from K-cups. The only way most will ever see a change that dramatic is if you start roasting your own beans.
It's not that I disagree that grinding at home can improve quality to some degree but I doubt the majority of AD drinkers would ever find $150-300 of difference. Keep an eye on the Baratza refurbs and you should be able to score a burr grinder for $100 ish with a full warranty.

May 03, 2014
TraderJoe in Cookware

Looking for a new smoker

Even an ardent Egg head like myself has no issues suggesting a WSM.
A lot-o-Bang for the buck fo sho.

May 02, 2014
TraderJoe in Cookware

Michigan meat..where to buy farm direct?

A big +1 to bidding on animals at a 4H auction at a local county fair. Excellent product, fun, supports a great program. Most fairs will offer pre-arranged transfer for the animal to slaughter/butcher. That cost can add up and we all know auctions can be a bargain...or not.
Either way it's a fantastic source that gets overlooked all too often. Nothing wrong with splitting the spoils (and cost) with friends, family or neighbors either!

May 02, 2014
TraderJoe in Great Lakes

Weekend in Ann Arbor with a 2 year-old: suggestions?

Do not skip Zingerman's! ;)
I'd suggest eating at the original location. Very casual and the sandwich's are great. Be sure to get some Cheese, Bread, Pate, Magic Brownies ( The list really is endless ) for a picnic or snacking. The Roadhouse is nice as well.
A2 is not that large so there's not a bunch of neighborhoods to walk with different ethnic areas like Toronto. Don't over look Monahan's Seafood market or for dinner Haab's in Ypsi.
While there is plenty of Middle Eastern-fare in Dearborn I see no need to leave The Henry Ford/Greenfield village to chase a meal. The food at the Village/Museum is very good, locally sourced and frankly far better than many area restaurants.
I'm assuming you are already Costco members. If not you will not be able to shop (aside from Rx and alcohol) although you can get a day pass at the front desk. There are several Costco's in the greater Detroit area. I've been to all many times and there really is not a single unit that's consistently "better" than the others. In short there's no reason to drive around the city when there's a Costco (Pittsfield Twp) right on the edge of A2.
If you are looking for other suggestions in the greater Detroit area I'd suggest a visit to the Edsel & Eleanor Ford House in Grosse Pointe Shores. The Tulips should be in full bloom when you are here.

https://www.fordhouse.org/

May 02, 2014
TraderJoe in Great Lakes

Grinder recommendations for drip coffee

I had a Breville and simply can't suggest them.

http://www.cheftalk.com/products/brev...

Again I really suggest buying whole bean coffee and grinding at the store for AD but if forced to suggest a grinder it would surely be a Baratza. You might want to consider a Baratza encore. The price is right, it's still a conical burr grinder and you can buy a lot of Coffee with that left over $170! ;)

May 02, 2014
TraderJoe in Cookware

Grinder recommendations for drip coffee

For drip coffee? Have them grind it at the store they buy beans. All kidding aside those large bun store grinders will give a better grind for this use than many expensive grinders and will put any whirly blade grinder to shame.
Plus- You can't beat the price! ;)
If you really insist on buying a grinder then buy one with some versatility. The stand out for me in that category is a Baratza Preciso. I'd suggest looking directly at the Baratza web site for refurbs.

http://www.seattlecoffeegear.com/bara...

May 01, 2014
TraderJoe in Cookware
1

Anybody on this board seen or done a WHOLE SWORD FISH over fire?

Very interested in hearing how this turns out. I hope you have a copy of Francis Mallmann's "Seven Fires" on your nightstand because any Guru of BBQ nuckin futty enough to try this will really enjoy that book.
I think the challenge for you will be to slow cook the fish if you really want to do it whole. I'm assuming the 100# is H&G.
Swordfish is an odd beast. Very dense flesh but not at all forgiving if you over cook. If you'll forgive the pun I think therein lies the "rub". It will be a challenge not to overcook the exterior before the fish is done internally. As odd as it may sound to some this is an instance where I would prefer a fish that has been previously frozen due to the worms that swordfish often have.
I wish you luck with your venture. I have to say it's quite a challenge. I think I'd be very temped to dig a pit and build an Imu .

May 01, 2014
TraderJoe in BBQ, Smoking, & Grilling

Looking for a new smoker, would like to do both hot and cold smoking

Large BGE fed by a mini or small BGE. This way you have the ultimate versatility for grilling, hot or cold smoking.
Aside from that a dedicated smoke house.

May 01, 2014
TraderJoe in BBQ, Smoking, & Grilling

Cutting Boards

I use a 24x18x3" edge grain board from Michigan Maple Block for butchering. IMO it's not very practical to have a 3" mobile board much larger.
Dave @ Boardsmith produces 2" thick boards which will be better suited (IMO)if you want a larger board.
I'd spend some time thinking about end grain vs edge grain as well. A 18 x 24 edge grain is far less $$$ than end grain. Either way MMB or Boardsmith are first choice for me as I've just had too many Boos boards crack. Even Americas test kitchen had a Boos board split during testing a few years back. A purchase like this is an investment that should last a lifetime. Cook up some board butter and take care it and either one of these will serve you well for many years.

http://theboardsmith.com/product-cate...

http://www.buybutcherblock.com/mm5/me...

May 01, 2014
TraderJoe in Cookware
1

Looking for a new smoker

BGE

May 01, 2014
TraderJoe in Cookware

DTW: least sucky restaurant in RO

Wait....It's Royal Oak? Oh my. All these years I thought it was actually Royal Joke.
I like Lilly's but service can be dismal. I think I'd opt for a coffee and a pastry from Astoria Pastry shop and then head over to Telway for a healthy late night bomb after the show.

Mar 21, 2014
TraderJoe in Great Lakes

Stella Trattoria Traverse City MI

La Becasse just doesn't get nearly enough Love. One of the best kept secrets of the area.
For me Stella is ok but I also find being in a State Mental Hospital not the most enticing venue.

Mar 21, 2014
TraderJoe in Great Lakes

What copper cookware brand do you recommend (Mauviel or Falk)

"Falk SS also pits waaaay to easy."
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Just an update on the pitting stock pot saga. Another few months have gone by with minimal use and I now have 8-10 very visible pits on the SS bottom of the stock pot that's roughly 1 year old. In many years of running Professional kitchens and handling a lot of Copper I have never seen any SS deteriorate like this. The last I posted on the topic I was still reluctant to call it defective but that does appear to be the case. It looks like I will get to find out if all the touting about a great new US distributor with improved customer service is true.
Wish me luck!

Mar 18, 2014
TraderJoe in Cookware

What copper cookware brand do you recommend (Mauviel or Falk)

WOW! That 12.5" Sautee is SCHWEET!

Jan 01, 2014
TraderJoe in Cookware
1

What copper cookware brand do you recommend (Mauviel or Falk)

"All Mauvial frying pans have these rough circular scratch-patterns on the inside. I have frying pans from all three brands. Bourgeat and Falk are smooth"

Falk SS is a satin finish which sticks far more than Mauviel. Also while Mauviel does indeed have a visible circular pattern in the SS you can not feel it nor is it "rough". Falk SS also pits waaaay to easy.
Pros and cons to each but with SS lining Mauviel for me is the clear winner not to mention vastly better customer service and a warranty that actually is..... a warranty!
I'm very glad to hear Brooklyn Copper may be an option again.

Dec 31, 2013
TraderJoe in Cookware

Northern Lakes & Seafood; Relocated to Troy, MI

Same old tired property with another establishment destined for failure. Prices are way too high and quality is just not there. They seem to think they are still in Birmingham but this area took a significant hit in business when the economy turned several years ago. The traffic count is just no longer here to support these prices in this location.
Food and service were just ok for us. I left missing the good old days with the previous establishment.
A lot of tuting for Zingerman's Cheese but the olny other local product I noticed was Michigan pond raised shrimp.

Dec 31, 2013
TraderJoe in Great Lakes

Chow Worthy Dining on Disney Property

"I haven't been to La Luce"

Save your $$. Service and food quality were dismal and Bull and Bear is next door in the Waldorf which is easilly the stand out restaurant in the entire area.
I have to agree on Jiko. OK but underwhelming.
I think "stagnant" is a poor descriptive for FF unless you've been there several times. Food is very good as is the service.
While I don't have uber-high expectations at Disney food quality overall is pretty amazing for a theme park.

Dec 27, 2013
TraderJoe in Florida

Best restaurants in Orlando Disney area (in & out of resort)?

Bull and Bear is truly the stand out for us.
The Ravenous Pig and Cask and larder are no where near the Disney area.
I would not suggest La Lucce or any of the restaurants in the Hilton. We just returned from there. Dismal is an appropriate description for food quality.
Some one suggested Norman's and I would second that but only if you are staying at the Ritz or JW Marriott. If you stay there then the Vineyard is very good as well and a lot less foo-foo.
Avoid Primo @ the Marriott.
On Disney property the Flying Fish at the boardwalk is always good for us as well as Le Cellier in Epcot or Narcoosees at the Grand Floridian (make ADR's for Disney well in advance!)
There's a plethora of choices at down town Disney. If you are visiting the parks there's just no need to run all over the city as there really are lots of good choices close by.

Dec 27, 2013
TraderJoe in Florida

Where not to eat in Orlando

Sounds like some one had a bad day. Poo doo happens. It shouldn't...but it does.
We've had many fine meals at Emeril's in Orlando. No it's not the best the city has to offer nor is it the best establishment of Chef Emeril's, but for us both service and food have been solid.
I will say we do prefer TChoup Chop and it's very close to Emeril's.

Dec 27, 2013
TraderJoe in Florida

Why BKF and not Bon Ami?

This topic gets more play than it's worth. These products are both dirt cheap. Bon Ami is about a buck a can here and a much larger can of BKF is $2. Just buy them and try them.
For me Bon-ami belongs in the waste bin. I see no use for it. Trying to clean copper or SS cookware with it is an effort in futility unless you want to rub-a-dub-dub for an hour with nominal results. If you are worried about scratching BKF now has liquid copper cleaner. It's more $$ and if you scrub hard it will scratch just like the powder although not as rapidly. Unlike another poster I've had zero issues with the liquid staining cloths dish towels etc but I will not buy the liquid again. It's just more expensive.

Dec 27, 2013
TraderJoe in Cookware

Mauviel - Cast Iron Handle (Worth It?)

3mm Mauviel rondeau-Bronze handles.

http://www.williams-sonoma.com/produc...

Dec 27, 2013
TraderJoe in Cookware

Mauviel - Cast Iron Handle (Worth It?)

You should send that set back. That's not the norm. Any handle that's crooked is going to be a nuisance (IMO).
I'm very pleased with all the Mauviel M250 I've purchased in the last year with cast iron handles however I did have to send one piece back as the handle came crooked with a gap. I've not seen any with burrs or a poor finish as they now have some sort of coating on them that seals the cast Iron. While I still prefer the bronze handles I see no issues with the cast Iron on Mauviel.

Dec 27, 2013
TraderJoe in Cookware

Mauviel Copper - Restrictions on Heat

Has anyone else noticed the very poor quality in the cast iron handles on the mauviel 250c?
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Over the last year I've purchased several M250 pieces. I had one with a lousy handle (crooked with a gap) that I sent back. The others came in just fine. The F&F is vastly better than the Falk cast iron and at least with Mauviel if you get a bad sample any reputable dealer will let you return or exhange it.

Dec 27, 2013
TraderJoe in Cookware

Mauviel Copper - Restrictions on Heat

"I think wafer thin is an unfair assessment"

I think if you had any of the current Mazzetti 3mm cookware you would quickly agree the lids are wafer thin. I'd venture a guess they are 1/2 as thick as the Mauviel lids with ease.
@ roycey I have not had any issues with the Mazzetti lid but I rarely use it. It's thin enough that if you dropped it on the floor on edge it would be very damaged. It's not suitable for making rice etc but will work fine for finishing a dish and you want to put the lid on to hold your product as it rests.

Dec 27, 2013
TraderJoe in Cookware

Falk Review

"As I read through the thread, it looks like the prior distributor made him an offer which he declined regarding the saucepan"
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Some time has passed since those events and I have not gone back and re-read every post. However I do believe I posted that Mr. Harp put forth an offer on the Saucepan that was accepted.
I no longer own that piece.
I 've only just read the offer on the stock pot. In all fairness at this point I'm a bit on the fence about calling the pot "Defective" with two "pops" or "pits".
Disappointing-Yes.
Disconcerting-Yes
If this is a problem that persists to the point that several pits develop then I would contact Falk.
Again that pot has seen very light use and there's zero chance those are salt pits.

Nov 29, 2013
TraderJoe in Cookware

What copper cookware brand do you recommend (Mauviel or Falk)

"But they're all pretty terrific pans"

This is spot on. The rest is just niggelong between preferences. I also prefer the brushed exterior of Falk but I'm not a fan of the brushed Falk interior. The biggest issue for me is the pitting of the SS on Falk.
Then again I have a few niggles about the other brands as well. I'm glad to own each brand and each has it's own strength and weakness.

Nov 29, 2013
TraderJoe in Cookware

Falk Review

I've no idea if it's a widespread problem. what I do know is I have a $500 stock pot that's less than a year old with two noticeable pits in the bottom. They are odd shaped and resemble "Pops" more than pits. This is an issue that others have brought up here in the past with Falk but IIR the thought process was that this is from salt.
In either event it's disconcerting at best. I'm glad to hear Falk is working on their site.
@ Kaleo, it's good to see you are still here. My Mazzetti is getting much love. I'm off to London in the spring and hope to search some shops for old copper while there. In regards to the alloy I'm right there with you. I see this a lot like knives. There's VG10...and then there's Hitachi G3. Both SS but with very different properties. I'm just baffled by the pitting. Maybe some day we'll get ......The rest of the story. Until then if we don't speak again I hope you and yours and every one else at CH has a Happy Turkey day. Believe it or not it's snowing here in SE Mi....YIKES!

Nov 11, 2013
TraderJoe in Cookware
1

Falk Review

I'll just do a brief follow up here. A lot of chit-chat has taken place over time about the SS in Falk Vs Mauviel. Here's what I can say for a fact. I have SS line Mauviel pieces that are a solid 15+ years old. No pitting in the SS.
The Falk stock pot I have is now roughly ten months old. It is lightly used and well cared for. So far there are two very visible pits right in the bottom of the pot in the SS. The bonding process of Falks satin SS is either defective or they are using inferior SS. By inferior I mean I suspect Falk SS has impurities in the metal which cause the "pops" or pits in the SS on the bottom where it takes the most heat.
As far as Falk not rounding off the Measurements I think we've proven that's not accurate.
Sorry to see that neither their math or the return policy has improved.

Nov 11, 2013
TraderJoe in Cookware

Bourdain in Detroit: Coneys at Duley’s. Oxtail at Full Belly’s. BBQ at Vickies.

Another yawner from Bourdain. I can't believe any one fixates on factories that closed 60+ years ago. Like those don't exist in every majory city in the US.
So many great places to eat, such culteral diversity and amazing resiliance and what do we get? Cooking with Krab.
Not even a mention of the Eastern Market. Hey I guess I shouldn't complain. Last time he was here 95% of the footage wasn't even filmed in Detroit.

Nov 11, 2013
TraderJoe in Great Lakes